Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: IlLogicalKurt on October 01, 2014, 03:56:50 PM

Title: LSAT Abroad
Post by: IlLogicalKurt on October 01, 2014, 03:56:50 PM
In December I will be taking the LSAT in Tel-Aviv, Israel. The LSAC website makes it pretty clear that only test takers that observe the sabbath are permitted to take the test on Monday the 8th, opposed to the 6th. I am slightly confused by this because, aside from the Arab towns and villages, Israel is essentially shut down during this time. As of now (yet to register and pay for the LSAT) I am unsure of the actual date of the test.

Now to a more global concern:
Are testing facilities abroad likely to be populated or even close to as populated as a testing facility in the states. I have heard some horror stories of being unprepared for factors such as sounds produced by other test takers. Am I likely to experience this? Anybody taken the LSAT in a foreign country? In both the states and a foreign country? All input is helpful...

Might also be important to note that the reason I am going to be in Israel: I will be obtaining an MA in peace and conflict management studies. Be it what it may with all of the subjects controversy, but it seems like there could be some strong advantages relating to a future in law, domestic or international.

Lastly, I have heard things like an MA, MS, MBA, etc. are not helpful for getting into law school. I find this to be a silly conclusion when you look at certain scenarios. Student A holds a 3.9 GPA and 170 LSAT score, but has no graduate studies, nor have they ever lived outside of the general area which they were raised. Student B holds a 3.9 GPA, 169 LSAT score, an MA, and has studied in the Pacific Northwest, the South (North Carolina- boondocks land)  and abroad. According to many, the thought proceeds that student A will still be more valuable to the university that both A and B applied to. If it were to come down to only A or only B being accepted, is A really going to win that battle?
Student B is also 22, not that I think that is a very important factor. Obviously, this is all theoretical.

Thanks ahead of time,
and apologies for grammar, spelling, and frustrating errors (I'm on the run).
Title: Re: LSAT Abroad
Post by: IlLogicalKurt on October 01, 2014, 03:59:01 PM
Also found this to be a great time to state that I am open to meeting with anybody looking for a study partner in Israel. I will be living in Haifa, so Jerusalem may be tough, but Tel-Aviv is certainly doable.
Title: Re: LSAT Abroad
Post by: Groundhog on October 01, 2014, 04:32:34 PM
Lastly, I have heard things like an MA, MS, MBA, etc. are not helpful for getting into law school. I find this to be a silly conclusion when you look at certain scenarios. Student A holds a 3.9 GPA and 170 LSAT score, but has no graduate studies, nor have they ever lived outside of the general area which they were raised. Student B holds a 3.9 GPA, 169 LSAT score, an MA, and has studied in the Pacific Northwest, the South (North Carolina- boondocks land)  and abroad. According to many, the thought proceeds that student A will still be more valuable to the university that both A and B applied to. If it were to come down to only A or only B being accepted, is A really going to win that battle?
Student B is also 22, not that I think that is a very important factor. Obviously, this is all theoretical.

I can't comment on any of the global LSAT administration questions. I imagine the best idea would be to contact LSAC and the testing center directly.

As far as admissions goes, I have a little knowledge, which may not be applicable in all situations. In your example, generally student A and B are never going to be compared directly to each other, except in rare circumstances I'll discuss below. Law schools organize review of applicants a number of ways, but strictly by GPA is not one of them, which is the only way those two candidates are equivalent. They're more likely going to use an index and/or organize by LSAT score. This is because a 3.5 in Basket Weaving from Eastern Middle Central State is only better than a 3.3 in Electrical Engineering from Berkeley for US News purposes. In reality, one is eligible for the patent bar. The only way that Student A and B would be compared together is if they were borderline, either as part of a large group that could go either way, or during a waitlist cycle. During a waitlist cycle the LSAT could be key or irrelevant. If the 170 gets the school's 25th percentile LSAT up or contributes to that, it may be essential. If both are above or below the 25th percentile, it may not even be considered by the school, or it could be determinative. It really depends on what the school is going for at the time.

Most schools will already know whether or not they will admit Candidates A and B based on their numbers. A vast majority of candidates are either accepted or rejected outright, pending a review to make sure no serious criminal convictions or other issues were missed in the acceptance pile and no amazing accomplishments like winning an Olympic medal were missed in the rejection pile. A very small percentage of overall candidates go into the maybe pile, in which candidates can end up accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. As I said above, this is where Candidates A and B could potentially be compared in the same group or even directly if being considered for a waitlist admission.

Now that I've addressed the admissions process generally, I can discuss your question about other graduate degrees. To be honest, most Master's degrees, outside of a technical or hard science field, do not mean much in the legal profession or admissions. It may mean you have the capability to complete graduate work, but if you are admitted to an ABA-accredited school it is already very likely that you have the capacity to succeed in law school and pass a bar exam. I have noticed the JD/MBA combination is a popular route these days.

I did a joint Master's in law school, which I recommend if you can truly get value out of it. I did, but for most attorneys outside of specialized areas of law, they are not that useful. I think the best ones are probably hard sciences, engineering or something that will allow one to take the patent bar, MBA, accounting, tax, or anything finance-related.
Title: Re: LSAT Abroad
Post by: barprephero on October 01, 2014, 09:07:18 PM
Masters don't matter
GPA and LSAT matter, nothing else

If you want a masters WAIT and get it JOINTLY with the JD. (save time and money)
Title: Re: LSAT Abroad
Post by: Groundhog on October 02, 2014, 12:11:46 AM
Out of curiosity to OP, why the Master's in Peace and Conflict Management Studies? What jobs does this prepare you for without a law degree? What attorney positions, international or domestic, does this help you get?

Very few attorneys practice international law. Most of that would be handled by Ambassadors and political appointees as matters of foreign policy or the military. Are you interested in a position in the State department? Would you rather be an attorney or the kinds of jobs that graduates of the Master's degree you seek receive, perhaps a Foreign Service Officer?

While I realize this may assume a lot, your original post comes off as you wanting to be convinced that a Master's degree can help with law school admissions or make up for GPA points, but neither is particularly the case. If that is the reason why you are getting a Master's degree, STOP. If you want to be an attorney, practicing real law, then I would also say STOP. The Master's degree isn't worth the time and money. If you want to join the foreign service or something that is more on the foreign policy side, I would consider alternatives to law school.
Title: Re: LSAT Abroad
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on October 02, 2014, 11:07:21 AM
There are many threads here which discuss the impact of "soft factors" such as graduate degrees, the OP may want to read them.

It boils down to this:

A graduate degree is not useless in terms of law school admission, but it's not very helpful either.

A graduate degree may give the applicant a small boost, especially if it is in a hard science and/or from an elite university. Thus, an M.S. in Biochem from Caltech may help but an M.A. in English from Unknown State U will not.

Graduate studies are very different from law school, and one is not preparation for the other. The fact that someone completes an M.A. does not mean they are more likely to do well in Property than someone who hasn't.

LSAT and GPA however, do tend to be reliable indicators of law school aptitude.

In the scenario that the OP has described, both applicants are so close numerically that they would have very similar chances of admission. In that case, an M.A. might help. The majority of admission decisions are, as Groundhog stated, going to be made pretty quickly based on numbers. If the M.A. holder is a few LSAT points below the non-M.A. applicant, that soft factor is not going to overcome the lower LSAT score.

I understand this is frustrating, but when you get to law school you will see that your M.A. is of little use in terms of studying the law. That's just the way it is.